Sony Music Posts Q4 2022 Revenue Jump Amid Continued Streaming, Publishing Growth

sony music entertainment earnings
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sony music entertainment earnings
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A breakdown of Sony Music Entertainment’s quarterly streaming revenue for recorded music as well as publishing. Photo Credit: Sony Group

Sony Music Entertainment achieved a double-digit year-over-year (YoY) revenue improvement during 2022’s final three months (the third quarter of Sony Group’s 2022 fiscal year), as publishing and recorded streaming income turned in a combined ¥55.20 billion ($429.01 million at the current exchange rate) jump.

The Big Three label’s Q4 2022 showing came to light in an earnings analysis from the overarching Sony Group today. According to the document, Sony Music Entertainment’s income for October, November, and December of last year totaled ¥313.21 billion ($2.44 billion), up from ¥235.69 billion ($1.83 billion) during the same stretch in 2021.

Worth clarifying at the outset is that the disclosed SME Q4 2022 revenue figure encompasses both recorded music and publishing but not “visual media and platform.” Referring to mobile games, anime, and related media, the latter is perennially included in the “music” category and slipped by 20.25 percent quarter over quarter (QoQ) as well as 16.32 percent YoY to finish at ¥47.43 billion ($369.13 million).

Similarly, the mentioned SME fourth-quarter revenue figure excludes an additional ¥3.10 billion ($24.16 million) in music income attributable to intersegment sales across Sony Group’s various business units. Overall Sony Group Q4 2022 music revenue, including visual media and platform and for external and intersegment sales alike, neared ¥363.75 billion ($2.83 billion).

Back to Sony Music Entertainment’s Q4 2022 performance, though, recorded music is said to have generated ¥159.15 billion ($1.24 billion) from streaming on the quarter, representing a 4.75 percent QoQ boost and a 33.17 percent YoY increase.

Other recorded music revenue (including licensing and merch) came in at ¥40.96 billion ($318.15 million), up 22.09 percent QoQ and 68.14 percent YoY, compared to ¥31.05 billion ($241.24 million) for physical releases including vinyl (up 27.53 percent QoQ and down 5.96 percent YoY).

Downloads rounded out the recorded category with ¥7.89 billion ($61.43 million) and, despite falling substantially from the prior quarter, topped all but one of the previous fiscal year’s quarterly totals.

By revenue contribution, SME’s bestselling Q4 2022 projects were Harry Styles’ Harry’s House, Beyonce’s Renaissance, SZA’s SOS, Bruce Springsteen’s Only the Strong Survive, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas, respectively.

Shifting to the publishing side, Sony Music Publishing (SMP) pulled down ¥74.16 billion ($577.42 million) during 2022’s last quarter, up 0.91 percent QoQ but 42.89 percent YoY.

Around ¥41.56 billion ($322.97 million) of this quarterly publishing revenue derived from streaming, the document shows – signifying a slight decrease from the total delivered by July, August, and September of 2022.

Additionally, SMP’s “owned and administered” songs are said to have numbered 5.46 million as of March 31st of last year, with an updated total set to arrive with Sony Group’s forthcoming performance breakdown for the entire 2022 fiscal year.

In part because of currency-related benefits – and notwithstanding the above-described downturn for visual media and platform – Sony Group identified Q4 2022 operating income of ¥62.96 billion ($489.91 million) for its music unit.

Looking forward to the remainder of the fiscal year, execs left unchanged their previous music-segment forecast of ¥1.37 trillion ($10.66 billion) in revenue and ¥265 billion ($2.06 billion) in operating income. Last month, Sony Music settled a trademark lawsuit centering on Future’s High Off Life, before launching an artist and label services company called Santa Anna.